“Hey, Moe! These chickees are vampires!”
“Shut up, numbskull. I’m having sex!”
“Why soitenly! Woo-woo-woo!”
— Curly and Moe in The Three Stooges Meet The Vampire Hookers
Just when you thought The Thirsty Dead was the end all be all of Filipino vampire movies, here comes Cirio H. Santiago with his own Filipino vampire movie. Like Cirio was actually going to produce 64 films and directed 105 of his own — and NOT make a vampire movie.
What the . . . you mean the guy that kept remaking — thanks to financial backing by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, Concorde Pictures and New Horizons Pictures — Mad Max* over and over again (seven times between 1983 to 1992!) by recycling the same post-apoc stock footage over and over again, with Stryker, Wheels of Fire, Future Hunters, Equalizer 2000, The Sisterhood, Dune Warriors, and Raiders of the Sun . . . he made a vamp flick?
Oh, man. Strap on the popcorn bucket.
Long before Roger Corman ponied up the post-apoc cash, poor ‘ol Cirio did the best he could with his harshly-lit, 16mm epics — this one written by Chicago-born Howard R. Cohen, who also gave us The Unholy Rollers, Space Raiders**, Saturday the 14th, the aforementioned Stryker, Deathstalker, Barbarian Queen, and Time Trackers. Wait a second . . . those have Corman stank on them! You mean Corman did back this vamp romp?
What’s it all about?
Again. Popcorn bucket. Strap.
As if his starring role rife with lame, one-liner jokes about dental and erection issues in Nia Bonet’s Nocturna, Granddaugther of Dracula (1979; also reviewed for “Vampire Week”) wasn’t embarrassing enough, Sir John Carradine didn’t learn his lessons with this 79-minute epic rife with the same one-liners, this time as the aging vampire Richmond Reed. Spouting Shakespeare as only Sir John can, he lords over a coven of three sex-o-licious, negligee-clad ladies who pose as prostitutes to lure victims to Drac’s lair for a little sexploitation bloodletting.
Yes. You heard right. Howie wrote us a script that crosses ugh-inducing, vaudevillian comedy, ’70s grindhouse-styled sexploitation (in slow motion; you know, for that extra, emotional-visual impact), and vampires. But why did . . . a guy from Chicago . . . Corman . . . shoot this in the Philippines? And where’s the native peoples? Where’d did all of these Americans come from?
Well, why did they shoot The Thirsty Dead and Daughters of Satan with a bunch of white Americans? Because it’s cheaper to shoot in the lands below The Rising Sun. That, and the angle that the vamp-vics are dopey-horny American sailors of the McHale’s Navy-variety on shore leave at a Manila-based U.S. port of call — and that’s why the count set up shop there. But hey, ubiquitous Filipino actor Vic Diaz is here — just one of his 158 credits (including Daughters of Satan and Equalizer 2000, along with Black Mama, White Mama, just to name a few) — so it all balances out the studio’s affirmative action paperwork.
Keep your eyes out for the deli counter-styled, meat cleaver-editing and out-of-sync dubbing . . . and again, the slow-motion sex scenes that make Tommy Wiseau’s sex scenes in The Room less offensive and expertly stage — if that’s even possible. And thanks to this Santiago vamp romp: it is. And it comes complete with Three Stooges-styled buffoonery, plenty of ta-tas, and an awesome theme song that makes “The Green Slime” from, well, The Green Smile, seem like a Grammy winner. Yeah, the punctuated-by-trombone “Wah-Wah-waaaahhhhhhs” of The Undertaker and his Pals has nothing on this Cirio vampfest. Nothing.
In other words: this is epic.
Between 2013 and 2018, the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome put this out on DVD and Blu-ray, so it’s easy to get a copy; it also appears on a number of public domain sets. But we found you a freebie rip on You Tube.
* Be sure to check out our two-part “Atomic Dust Bin” blowout chronicling all of the Mad Max-inspired post-apoc films you know and love.
** Be sure to visit our “After Star Wars” round up of all of the “Star Wars Droppings” you know and love.